Going back a long time we use to cook these crockpot stews all the time. Vikings used whatever they had at their disposal. This recipe includes many variations as well as what to serve with it.
Crockpot recipes have become insanely popular and for good reason. They are easy to cook and you can put almost anything in them.
What makes this unique
So why write just another crockpot recipe? Simple. This one is different from the rest and it tastes completely unique. We start off by embracing our heritage of cooking with fire. Yes, fire.
Not gas or fan assisted ovens or induction but good a good old fire. You know - those things that used to keep us warm in the cold snowy nights and served as our entertainment before YouTube and Facebook came along.
You do not have to use fire, but it will really make it special as the food slowly takes up a smoky flavour from the burning wood.
Alternatively you would use a crockpot and add a smokey element in the stew. Like GREAT QUALITY smoked sausage or smoked lamb, venison or beef rib.
If you can't find any then add a touch of NATURAL smoke liquid. Natural smoke liquid is just condensed smoke. No strange flavourings or chemicals.
- Meat - Game, Beef, Poultry, Lamb or any meat your heart desires. First time I made this I used only smoked hand-chopped sausage. Because that's what I had. Remember Vikings used whatever they had instead of going down the this-or-that-is-authentic route.
- Vegetables - Onion, garlic, carrot, cabbage, celeriac or any root vegetable works great. It will cook a long time so it will become completely soft and fall-apart. Which is what we want. Fresh vegetables would have been a delicasy for Vikings so if you want a completely authentic Viking stew then leave them out. What you'll have is a very rich meat stew you could serve with a simple side like mashed potatoes.
- Liquid - Vikings would have used mead, boulion from other boiled meats or water. I used a strong beer, as that is what I had. Kinda the same as mead.
- Herbs(optional) - Think of strong herbs like thyme, rosemary and marjoram. Vikings would have used pine or wild foraged herbs. I like adding some fresh marjoram, parsley, and dill right at the end of cooking.
- Add Berries - Wild berries played a big part in Viking life and formed a large part of their diet. Even today, you can see that in Scandanavian and northern cuisine.
- Use fish - Meat might not always have been available and vikings spent a large part of their life at sea and close to the coast. Use fish bones to flavour the stew but only add the fish 10 minutes before you want to serve it. Fish cooks very quickly and a long stew is not recommended for fish. Unless you use tough mollusc muscles like periwinkle.
- Make it Vegan - Although this version might not have featured in viking times. It does make a delicious healthy stew. Use your favourite veggies and even add some barley, buckwheat or spelt.
- Add cream - Vikings had dairy and they loved it. Add some just before serving to give your soup a delicious round creamy flavour.
Depending on which way you went with this stew. It could be a stand-alone hearty winter dish or you could serve it with a few sides.
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Medieval Crock Pot Viking Stew
- 2 large onions - roughly diced
- 4 cloves garlic - crushed
- 2 large potatoes - chopped into chunks
- 450 g (1 lb) Meat of choice - Beef shin, Venison, Smoked sausage
- 225 g (0.5 lb) bacon - optional but necessary and chopped roughly
- ½ cabbage - or other vegetables like carrot or celeriac roughly chopped or grated
- 500 ml (2.11 cups) beer - Dark beer works best
- 500 ml (2.11 cups) water/meat or vegetable stock
- Place all the ingredients together into the pot and mix it well.
- Cook it at low medium temperature for about 5 hours monitoring it every now and again adding water or stock if needed.
- Season with salt and pepper when done.
- You can also chop up some herbs(parsley, marjoram, dill)and add it in when done.
This may not be savage Viking but it’s delicious. The beer is real good touch and actually Vikings made salted meats so sure they boiled that too. I made this on fire slowly for long time like you did and used just normal sausage. The taste is amazing and smokey from the fire. Great
That's great to hear. I love it when readers make effort with a recipe like this and cook it over the fire. Which is where the real magic lies. I actually cooked this in a hut in the middle of winter in the forest)) Let's call it a modern-day Viking stew. Cooked it with what I had at the time)
We make this everytime we go camping and we have a ritual...Everyone brings something to add to the pot(large cast iron cauldron or Dutch oven),it simmers all day over the fire... Everyone keeps track of its progress... It's the communal dinner for the night of our ritual...It always turns out AMAZING...We have used Hamburger,sausage, pork, beef stew meat and we usually add bacon and next time,(Samhain) we will be using chicken as our base meat...These meals are the best...It draws everyone attending into the preparation and its fun...!!!...
Do you cook the bacon ahead of time or put it in raw with the other ingredients?
Just raw is good! Add with the other ingredients.
Absolutely the best stew for winter! Made this on a campfire in a cast iron pot. Used some smoked pork neck instead of sausage.
Happy you enjoyed it!
Made this twice in the last week. My family love it and we use my husband’s homemade ale as well as wild deer for some extra wild flavour))
Does anyone know how to convert this to instant pot times?
If you cook stews in your instant pot then use the same settings. Should be low and slow.
Very nice stew. My husband makes smoke sausages all the time and I cooked it in an instant pot. Perfect winter dish
Vikings would not have had potatoes, try oats instead. More authentic but might not be to everyone's taste.
I’ve read they would have had barley too. Might be better in this stew than oats. My daughter is making it this weekend over a fire outside for her Norway project.
Was celeriac available? What about sorghum? I understand it was in E Europe.
Our only issue with barley is that it has gluten and many of our members are celiac or sensitive to gluten. We are cooking for Yule and need to X out the potatoes and no gluten. Any suggestions?
Yes, buckwheat or millet will work.
Good but vikings/norse didn't have potatoes. Parsnips would be a great viable option
I have a question, so you don’t cook anything before you put it in the soup. And would it be ok if I substituted beer for ginger ale?
Everything goes in raw. Plain ale or stock is better yo use than ginger ale. Ginger ale would add too much sweetness.